COVID-19 is still hanging around and not going anywhere just yet, as we approach daily life. While limitations have been lifted across the U.S., cases are gradually rising in certain states owing to the newest variant BA.2, which is now the most common strain. We spoke with experts who can shed light on BA.2 and how symptoms generally appear. Here’s what they had to say.
1 — What Could Happen Next With COVID
“As public health limits are loosening in numerous areas, another surge of COVID-19 is anticipated in the coming weeks,” says Erica Susky, an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) at a hospital epidemiology department. “This may differ by place and what matters is that fewer people contract a severe disease, and if the local medical system can manage the extra cases. SARS-CoV-2 has displayed the capacity to mutate and combine. In the coming months, further development and changes in SARS-CoV-2 are likely. From previous pandemics, pathogen evolution appears to trend towards killing fewer hosts and spreading more quickly on average. A virus with a competitive advantage because it kills fewer hosts and spreads quicker might be said to have an evolutionary edge. This appears to be the case with Omicron.”
2 — What is BA.2 and How has it Become the Dominant Strain
The “stealth variant” of the BA.2 is a subvariant often known as the “invisibility variant.” It is highly contagious, and due to its ability to disguise itself, it has become the most prevalent strain causing more than 85 percent of all COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC, implying that if you are exposed to it, you are more likely to get sick. ”
3 — How BA.2 is Different From the Other Variants
“The BA.2 variant is more contagious and less deadly,” according to Dr. Curry-Winchell, “but most people have mild to moderate symptoms that don’t require hospitalization.”
4 — Symptoms and the order that they usually appear in BA.2
According to Dr. Curry-Winchell, “The symptoms connected with BA.2 can vary from person to person and are not linked to a particular order. Fever, sinus pressure, cough, nasal blockage, and body aches are the typical symptoms. Before the development of respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose or sore throat, several of my patients have presented with diarrhea in the emergency department.” “Patients frequently feel exhausted and run down when COVID begins. They next have a fever, headache, cough, sore throat, muscular aches, loss of smell and taste, and diarrhea. Diarrhea is a symptom of coronavirus infection. Some patients I’ve treated in urgent care believed they had food poisoning when they actually had COVID-19.”
5 — Is the Vaccine Against BA.2 Effective? Why Are People Still Getting Sick Despite Having Been Immunized?
“COVID is a viral respiratory illness that has the potential to be fatal,” according to Dr. Curry-Winchell. “The vaccine offers a layer of protection so you can minimize or prevent your chances of getting COVID. A person who has been vaccinated and boosted can still get coronavirus, although the symptoms will be less severe. When you are vaccinated, it’s like having a recipe card for the body to know how to deal with the virus if it comes into contact with COVID. You are more likely to have milder symptoms if you are vaccinated, implying that your risks of hospitalization and mortality are decreased.”